Kangean Islands is an archipelago located in the east of Madura Island, East Java and on the north of Bali Island. This archipelago consists of 60 islands, three districts (soon will be developed into 4 sub-districts), and with an area of 487 km ². Followwing are information and travel guide to Kangean Islands.
Kangean Local People
Kangean, although included in Sumenep Regency in Madura Island, and is also located on the north island of Bali, but there are a lot of difference between Kangean – Madura – Bali. Kangean people have different language with Madura and Bali,which is originated from Malay.
Kangean Island (The Largest Island and The Main Island)
Kangean Islands (with Kangean Island as the largest island in the region) is more similar to the other small islands combined with the countryside on the island of Java. Kangean Islands are featured with rice fields and plantations of teak plus white sand beaches and beautiful coral reefs. Not to mention, oil mining!
Infrastructure in this Kangean island is not so good. Many paved roads are hollow, facilities are minimal, and the only electric lights at night. I think government should resolve this issues. However, Kangean Island as the main island has the best falicilities among the islands in this archiplago.
Sepangkur island is a paradise of colorful soft corals. Various types of soft coral, hard coral, and anemones live beautifully under the sea. In fact, the density of coral reefs were very, very solid! Snorkeling on the island is a must to see a velvet-carpet-like soft coral beneath the sea.
We saw a blue spots stingray hin here. There is also a Dutch shipwreck that became the home to many different types of coral and fish, including Scorpion fish. No need to dive to see the shipwreck because it is located not to far from the Saur Island beach.
Saebus Island is an island of white sand and coral reefs around the island. In addition to Lion Fish, there are also a wide range of other fish found in the island. Sunbathing on the beach, swimming, snorkeling, or just take your own photos? This is the right place to do it all.
Gusung / Gosong Island
It is an island that contains only white sand dunes that appear in times of low tide and submerged during high tides. FYI, there are so many sand dunes like this in other side of the world. In Indonesia it is called Gusung or Gosong. But, Gusung Island in Kangean island is little bit different from other Gusung Island in other archiplagoes. The color of the sands is a mixture of red and white sands.
This is my most favorite spot in Kangean. Here is a paradise of Clown Fish or sometimes it is called Nemo Fish.
This is a small white sand island with (once again) beautiful coral reefs around the island. Here is the right place for sunset hunting in Kangean.
If you are lucky, you can see dolphins jumps while you are doing islands hopping around Kangean Islands.
Some spots of coral reefs in Kangean are bombed and poisoned. Although coral reefs in Kangean is still good anyway, but if fish bombing and poisoning is still ongoing, then there will be a disaster for the environment.
By visiting Kangean, I hope that tourism in these islands to be passionate and activity of fish bombing and poisoning no longer occurs.
How to Get Kangean
Route to Kangean Islands is described as follow:
Summary route to Kangean: Bungurasih / Purabaya Bus Terminal, Surabaya – Sumenep Madura Bus Terminal – Kalianget Harbor Sumenep, Madura – Kangean Harbor – Kangean Midtown – Kayu Aru Harbor- Island Hopping in small islands around Kangean Island.
1. Bungurasih / Purabaya Bus Terminal, Surabaya
The terminal is our starting point. I myself went from Jogja byEka bus (rates Rp63.000) from terminal Giwangan Jogja to terminal Bungurasih Surabaya that time. It took about 8.5 hours the trip from Jogja to Surabaya.
2. Sumenep Bus Terminal Madura
From Bungurasih Bus Terminal to Sumenep Bus Terminal, a lot of buses that serve 24 hours non stop. Ticket prices are Rp32.000 (economic class) and Rp42.000 (executive). I recommend executive class to save your time.
The journey from Bungurasih Bus Terminal to Sumenep Bus Terminal takes about 4 hours. Make sure that you really get into the terminal, because at the junction before the terminal, many passengers are dropped. Don’t follow them, just sit and wait until the bus enter the bus terminal.
3. Kalianget Harbor
From Sumenep Bus Terminal, you can charter a public transport (or called “angkot” in Bahasa Indonesia) rate Rp50.000/car or ride “ojek” Rp20.000/person to get to the Kalianget Harbor.
After arriving to the Kalianget Harbor, there are two options for the boat across to the Kangean:
a. Express Bahari Speedboat (Rates Rp150.000 single trip, but if you buy a return ticket, you get discount and pay Rp280.000)
– From Kalianget Harbor: Monday, Thursday, Saturday.
– From Kangean Harbor: Tuesday, Friday, Sunday
The ship departed at 09.00 am, arrive at the destination at around 13:00
b. Ferry (Rp 60ribu rate for 10-12 hours trip WOW!)
I don’t have much information but this ferry, but a long and boring trip.
4. Kangean harbor
Arriving at the Kangean Harbor, please specify the direction of your journey. I chose heading to Kangean midtown first by renting Kangean public transportation / “teksi”/”angkot” costs Rp45.000/angkot one way.
5. Kayu Aru Harbor
From Kangean midtown, we have to go to Kayu Aru Harbor before island hopping to many beautiful small islands around Kangean Island. We cant rent a public transportation/”teksi”/”angkot” cost Rp200.000/”angkot”. From Kayu Aru Harbor, we can rent a traditional boat to reach beautiful islands I have mentioned above cost Rp450.000/boat/day. Travel time from Kangean midtown to the Kayu Aru Harbor is about 2 hours.
There are several motels in Kangean midtown rated Rp25ribu/bed (not per room).
Contact Person (CP)
1. Mas Sanawi
Mas Sanawi is Kangean local people, who can help us during the trip in Kangean. Mas Sanawi is also a guide and spokesman for us because we can not speak Kangean Languag. He’s a really nice person …
2. Mas Iswat
Mas Iswat is boat driver as well as our guide. Mas Iswat knew exactly the best coral reefs spot in Kangean. He’s also a nice person … We rented a boat for island hopping from him. Boat rental rates are Rp450.000/boat/day. Boat capacity is about 10-15 people.
3. Mbak Retno, Mas Kokom, and Mas Abdullah
You can call them to order a speedboat ticket from Kalianget Harbor to Kangean Harbor. Make sure to call them first for the speedboat schedule and to know the weather conditions in Kangean.
These are the important phone numbers to call (Make sure that you can speak Bahasa Indonesia):
1. Make sure the nice weather in Kangean. Nice weather is usually between April to November. We should call the contact persons above before the trip to make sure the weather condition in Kangean.
2. Bring enough money because there is no ATM in Kangean Islands.
3. Departing from Bungurasih Bus Terminal is preferably at 1 or 2 a.m, so we can get a speedboat directly to the Kangean.
4. Kangean people is very polite and devout followers of Islam. To honor the people here, we should use a decent clothes for a living on the main island of Kangean. It’s up to you when you are snorkeling or sunbathing on the beach anyway. (Don’t use bikini in the midtown 😀 )
5. To save the cost, it is recommended that you go with many people so that you can share the cost with your travel buddies because there is so many joint cost such as rent boat/”angkot/other public transport.
6. Bring your own snorkeling equipment and fins. There is NO snorkeling equipment and fins rental in Kangean. Buoys are also limited, so if you take a lot of participants, you must bring your own if they need that buoys.